This is a story I wrote for a previous Sunday Photo Flash Fiction challenge, but I also produced a longer version which I would like to share. I hope you enjoy the read!


The Climax 15B6

I have never been to an auction before but after hearing about the sudden death of my hero and mentor Dr James Cash, the world renowned scientists of my generation, I knew I had to go and see what the greedy family was auctioning off of his top inventions. On arrival I saw all the blood thirsty animals who were there to scrounge all his famous ideas, which we all knew they were going to sell as their own. You see Dr James Cash was never in it for the money, he was just a mere tutor who invented many outstanding inventions from his basement at home. The only people that really got to see these inventions where his closest students, which is why it was so disturbing when his secrets were revealed to the world. How could somebody so close to this dear old man insult him by outing his most famous work, especially when we all knew how ill he was. But whatever the treacherous person’s intentions were they would never actually now the true worth of all his work, people like me who idolised this clever, decent, hard-working man listened to everything he said in the hope of just learning a little of his outstanding knowledge. I used to spend hours with him, to the annoyance of most of his other students, and helped him a lot in his later life. I was honoured to do so as this little old man, whom was extremely ill, had taught me to be the scientist I am today, his family towards the end treated him like a mere batty old man. But then again they always felt this way about him anyway.

The secret that was spilt out to the world was regarding his greatest invention, The Climax 15B6 which he was working on for many years. This stunning little piece of equipment was able to turn a grain of sand into gold, he was hoping to use it for the greater good, making money for special charities in need of assistance. He got the idea whilst watching his wife cook a stew one day, he was thinking how with all the herbs, spices, salt and pepper she was putting in, it would never end up tasting like a stew because it had metamorphosed into a pulp of multi-coloured bits which had fermented from overheating.

He had gone down to his basement and thought how this overheating metamorphosis would be possible for other things, for months he had tried different concoctions of melting together different metals and minerals to see what would happen. Unfortunately, and to the relief of his wife’s ears after many different explosions, with no great success he was going to have to give up. They had just got back from holiday when he was going to pack up all of his equipment when he noticed some sand left in his shoe from the beach. He does not know why to this day but he decided to put the sand in the mixture to see what would happen and as he did he was astounded to find that the outcome was a clump of sand plated in a shimmering gold. What a break through!

He decided he needed to try this again but at a much higher temperature, he made model after model of robotic gadgets that would withhold this extreme heat without malfunctioning. He needed to get it to at least 700c to turn the sand to gold all the way through, he tried and tried until he finally solved it. He used the gadget to heat the sand with charcoal, and sodium nitrate up to a whopping 700c and the results was a big clump of solid gold. His invention was completed only 3 months before he became extremely ill and only 4 months before he was devastated by the news of the leakage of his findings, he put all his inventions away so no-one could find them. But sadly after his passing, his family, who were extremely selfish decided to use his newfound misplaced fame to set up this auction in order to claim the money they felt James had cheated them from all these years. Sitting here now watching everyone piled in to this little auction house and watching them bring in all of his hard work one by one, is heart-breaking. Each time the gavel slams down hard on the wooden block my heart melts for Dr James Cash, their goes his atom splitter, now his recyclable rubbish blender, each one going for more and more money starting from £100,000. Tenth invention in and the diamond earring maker which he made for his wife is sold for £500,000. To think he worked so hard on these and yet his wife and children can discard of them as easily as his life ended. When it gets to the final invention everyone is on the edge of their seat, this was the one, this is the invention everybody was here for. The one that made him famous in the worst way possible, this was its greatest discovery. The Climax 15B6 took centre stage and everybody was on their feet in wonder, the bidding started at £600,000 and slowly crept up as everybody’s hands shot in the air. It soon reached a million but still hands were rising, the final bidder had been reached at a crazy £4.5 million and the gavel slammed down. As everybody was leaving, the winner of The Climax 15B6 came over to me to apologise for my loss ‘he was a good man’ he said ‘but he never knew his own worth and so would never have used his inventions for what they were best used for’ at that moment I knew this man was the one who told the world about my friend and devastated his whole career.

As I walked from the auction house and strolled to my car, my thoughts were on my dear friend. I drove to my house and went in my basement, in the far corner was a big chest with a serial lock bolted on the front. I moved the serial numbers to their correct positions 15B6. I lifted up the lid and there was a handwritten letter looking up at me.

‘To my dearest and most loyal friend, you have been an inspiration to me over the last few months, as I have hopefully been for you over the years you were a student. When I go I know they are going to sell everything and deep down, I really don’t mind. I know you feel my family has treated me badly, but I can see how I have treated them unfavourably too. All these wonderful inventions of mine could of kept us in good wealth for many a year, but they don’t realise that I wanted them for the greater good not for our own benefit. Let them take everything, they do deserve that, but to you my loyal friend I would like you to keep one thing of mine and use it for what it was made for. Take care and good luck.’

Underneath the letter is the wonderful, real, climax 15B6. Boy do I wish I could be a fly on the wall when the winning bidder realises he has just spent £4.5 million on a dummy model. Karma is a wonderful thing!